The Nature and Value of Human Life

The Nature and Value of Human Life, Buddhism and Hinduism

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  • Created by: Elly
  • Created on: 16-05-10 18:40

Buddhist Perspectives- Human nature and condition

- Not emphasis on the person having an individual value that is found in western traditions.

- The more attached we are to the self the more gratification we seek

- Idea of not self doesn't mean that each of our personal histories or characters is denied

- linked by factors that are universal to all

- Way to liberation is to abstain from killing, stealing, misconduct of senses, false speech and drinking intoxicating substances

- All sentient beings in the cycle of birth and rebirth

- Noble 8 fold path, a person can become noble by following this, right to resolve, right action, right livelihood

- Holy life is lived for the final goal.

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Freewill and Fatalism

- Human lives are speacial because they have the possibility of reaching enlightenment. (breaking out of the cycle of birth and re-birth, and becoming at one with the universe.

- Because the have the ability to make free choices and have the capacity of understanding

- Central to the law of karma, because intentions and actions choose how we have a causal link to the next life.

- Can make spiritual and moral progress

- Free to choose how they act, they have responsibilty for their actions.

- Change is always possible if a person chooses to go after it.

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Equality and Difference

- Idea of equality for all human beings

- All human beings can seek enlightenment and bring about good and bad karma

- Treatment of other people should be impartial

- Buddha rejected the idea that you could be born into a caste, human race = one species

- Equality for gender is not all the same

- Women can't become a full Buddha, must be reincarnated into a man first - spiratual glass ceiling

- Disability may be thought of as a consequence of a past action (western people see this as outrageous)

- Important 2 remember, all life of human beings is a consequence of karma, seek to escape suffering of this life.

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Value of Human Life

- Value = more instrumental

- Probability of reaching enlightenment lends value to human nature

- Human life is more precious than anything else in the world

- Killing = bad

- In not killing a Buddhist becomes more sensitive to the needs and feelings of all sentient beings.

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"Laying aside violence in respect of all beings, both those which are still and those which move.. he should not kill a living creature, nor cause to kill, nor approve of others killing" - Harvey 2006, pg 69

"Following the ethics of the Noble 8 fold path is principally about reaching the final goal"- Harvey 2000 p41

"If one should decide to kill a sentient being while knowing full well that the being is a sentient being, then one will create a karma of the bad"

" generally gradualist in approach, so while it has ethical norms which all should follow from a sense of sympathy with fellow beings, others only apply to those who are ready for them" - Harvey 200 p51

"I teach that suffering, its origin, cessation + path, that's all I teach" - Buddha

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